February 2021
A Deeper Promise this Lenten Season
Shannon Clarke, a member of the Death Penalty Abolition/Restorative Justice Team, shares a reflection about how we might use the time of Lent to connect more deeply with the issues and needs of the human family.

The Lenten season is upon us and as a Marianist, I know I am called to do more than just give up my vices of ice cream and swearing as I prepare my heart for Jesus. Last year our Lenten promises might have looked different as we navigated the unknowns of this pandemic. As we have become more familiar with the new “norms” there are ways in which we can celebrate the work that is being done in various communities across the country that advocate for social justice even with the barriers of the pandemic. As the Marianist Family we have learned to navigate these barriers and have been able to safely come together in prayer, in education, and in advocacy. (Read more…)
“I was a stranger and you invited me in”
Pam Orlowicz, a member of the Immigrant Justice Team, shares a reflection after participating in an Ash Wednesday Vigil.

“...I was a stranger and you invited me in...” Matt 25:35
My husband Chuck and I attended a vigil sponsored by Pax Christi and First Friends this morning at Liberty State Park, NJ. It was held opposite Ellis Island, where countless immigrants were welcomed into this country. The takeaway for me was that we must continue to be advocates for the people in ICE detention and all people who have come to this country for safety and for building a better life for their families. Though the rhetoric is softer since the change in administrations, those seeking justice for immigrants and asylum seekers must continue to be the voice for the voiceless. ICE is still treating detainees inhumanely and continues to arrest and deport people indiscriminately.

As I sat in the car before we left, I had a clear picture of Lady Liberty - her back to me. For me, it spoke loudly and clearly about the current policies of our country which offer no welcome to those who seek a better life here. We can’t change the direction of the Statue of Liberty from our view in NJ, but we can do something to see that justice and mercy become a part of our immigration policies. Ellis Island is closed but we cannot close our hearts to those who continue to come here seeking a new home and a new start in life.
Looking for something to do for Lent? There are tons of resources on the internet which deal with immigration. Ask Google for help and become involved in some way.
The Global Catholic Climate Movement has a Lenten calendar, prayer guide, and weekly and daily tips for our “ecological conversion” during Lent.
The Catholic Climate Covenant has compiled resources from many faith-based organizations for living an environmentally conscious Lent.

Lent, Forgiveness, and Restorative Justice
When: Thursday, March 4, 7:30-9:00 p.m. EST
  • Sr. Donna Liette works with mothers who have lost children to violence or. incarceration
  • Leonard Rubio - While incarcerated at San Quentin, he created the Responsibility, Rehabilitation, & Restoration Interfaith Roundtable that promotes restorative justice between prisoners and volunteers from many faith and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Bill Fischer serves as Vice President for Student Development at the U. of Dayton where he focuses on student conduct, conflict resolution systems, and crisis/risk management
Flyer: Click here for more information.
Register: Click here to register and receive the Zoom link.
Sponsored by the MSJC Death Penalty Abolition & Restorative Justice Team

"ANOTHER NANE FOR EVERY THING" – Join the discussion
Join the Adele Social Justice Project this Lent for a 7-week series of prayer, reflection and conversation about this podcast series.
When: Series begins on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 8-9 pm (EST)
Register: Click here to register for the Zoom calls.
Each week participants will listen individually to 2 episodes of Another Name for Every Thing - a podcast series based on Richard Rohr's book, The Universal Christ. The group will engage in weekly one-hour conversations and reflections via Zoom about the connections between action & contemplation.
What: 6 part webinar series on restorative justice principles and practices.
It is for anyone actively participating in or interested in getting involved in restorative justice ministry (those who need new skills or need to update practices). Sponsored by the California Catholic Restorative Justice Network.
When: Begins on Feb. 21. Ends on May 20
Info & Register: Click here for more information and registration link    

Fortunate Families is offering 3 different series of presentations/discussions for Church ministers. One series is for priests, one is for deacons and one is for religious women and men. Click here for information and registration for each of these series.

Our recent MSJC Steering Committee annual meeting was a time of transition. Marge Cavanaugh officially became the new chair, replacing Bro. Frank O’Donnell who had been chair for the past 6 years. We bid farewell to three stalwarts of the Steering Committee whose terms were ending – LeeAnn Meyer (a member for 4 years), Bro. Frank (9 years) and Sr. Grace Walle, who holds the record, having served for 15 years! In addition, we welcomed 2 new members – Paul Combest, representing the Marianist Lay Community of No. America, and Bro. Steve O’Neil, representing the SM Province.

We extend our thanks to LeeAnn, Grace and Frank for their long-term commitment to MSJC and the cause of social justice, and we welcome Steve and Paul, with their new vision, new energy and new ideas.
Marge Cavanaugh
Bro. Frank O'Donnell, SM
LeeAnn Meyer
Sr. Grace Walle, FMI
Paul Combest
Bro. Steve O'Neil, SM

Fratelli Tutti – Study Guide
The USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development has released a Study Guide (en Español) on Fratelli Tutti for groups or individuals. It includes six sessions with prayers, chapter summaries, discussion questions, and suggestions for action and further study.  

From Pax Christi USA - Nuclear Weapons are Now Illegal
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force on Jan. 22, 2021 following its ratification by 51 countries. While the U.S. is not a signatory to the treaty, Pax Christi USA celebrates this monumental achievement and pledges to continue work for nuclear disarmament, dreaming of the day that all nations — including the U.S. — abolish nuclear weapons.
Click here for a sample letter you can use to email President Biden, urging the US to sign the treaty. 

And suddenly you know - it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.

Meister Eckhart 

Wondering what to do with a government relief/stimulus check? If you don't need it for necessities, consider donating it to MSJC.

Questions, comments, or feedback for Justice Jottings can be sent to Jim Vogt

Photo of Frank O'Donnell by Kevin J. Parks/Courtesy Catholic Review Media www.catholicreview.org